The role of media in facilitating information sharing among the market vendors in Soroti Municipality. A case of Soroti main market.
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Broadcast media are powerful communication tools and have been proved the most effective media in promoting development in the rural areas which is a tool for delivery of quick information. Radio is acknowledged to be the most important medium for communicating with the rural communities. The local media is responsible for transmitting information to the public as quickly as possible and as well raise public awareness on issues that affect the public. Geographically, the study was carried out in Soroti main market, Soroti municipality. Soroti municipality is the main municipal commercial and administrative center of Soroti district, located in the eastern region of Uganda. It boarders the districts of Kaberamaido in the west, Katakwi in the north, Kumi in the east, and Kamuli and Palisa in the south.This study aimed at understanding the role of media in facilitating information sharing among the market vendors in Soroti main market, Soroti municipality. It sought to establish the sources of business information accessed by the market vendors, establish the different local radio stations accessible and commonly listened to by the market vendors in Soroti main market, examine the factors that hinder access to business information by the market vendors in Soroti main market and as well identify community based solutions to the challenges faced by market vendors in accessing information regarding their businesses.The findings of the study indicated that there are a variety of sources of business information accessible to the market vendors which include friends, use of mobile phones, radio, market gatherings, the market notice board and the local newspaper among others. The study was able to identify the different local radio stations accessible and commonly listened to by the market vendors and these included among others Etop radio, Delta radio, radio Veritas, Teso Broadcasting Station, radio Joshua, and Voice of Teso. A majority of the respondents pointed out Etop radio as the most preferred radio station because of the nature of its programs which considers the sharing of business related information although it was revealed that the information shared does not meet all the information needs of the different categories of market vendors in Soroti main market. The study therefore recommends that the market vendors should always be involved in the identification of their information needs as a way to bridge the information gap, appropriate timing of the business information programs should be put into consideration to ensure that the business community benefits from such information and Conscientization of the market vendors on the importance of attending meetings among others.